Friday, May 17, 2024

Five on Friday: Exploring 5 Random Questions

"Fill your life with experiences.
Not things. Have stories to tell,
not stuff to show."

In my travels through social media, sometimes I come across interesting questions people ask their readers. I have taken the liberty of gathering a handful of such questions for today's Five on Friday post. It's been a lot of fun turning my answers into tiny stories to tell you. Hope you enjoy.

One. If someone offered you a box containing everything you ever lost, what would you look for first? An old coin—with a hole in the middle—that I think once belonged to my grandpa. It was a Chinese coin. My little sister and I both got one, and we'd look at them often. One day I brought my little treasure to school, probably for Show and Tell. I was in Grade 4. And at recess I took it outside with me. To my utter dismay, it slipped through my fingers and went straight down the skinny space between the school wall and concrete steps. My heart lurched as I tried to grab it. Too late. I mourned that coin. After all these years, if it was possible, I would like that coin back. And, after all these years, I still wonder what possessed my nine-year-old self to take it from the safety of her desk to the great outdoors. I never told a soul. 

Two. What do you still remember of the first day of your first job? I don't remember much of the actual day anymore. I was around age 14 or 15. It was the early 1970s, and I remember the flutter of excitement of working at the same small town grocery store where my mom once enjoyed working before she married my dad. I never had to apply for the job. Eddy, the store proprietor, approached Mom and asked if she thought I'd be interested. Oh yes. I worked Saturdays, the busiest day of the week, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (or until the last customer was served), with two coffee breaks and an hour for lunch. That first day I think I began learning the art of packing groceries—tomatoes are never placed on the bottom of the bag with heavy stuff on top and loaves of bread are handled carefully like a baby—and maybe learning to reface shelves, i.e., pulling the cans from the back to the front to fill empty spaces.

What I do vividly recall was how tired my feet were at the end of the long day standing on a concrete floor. And I certainly remember when Dorothy, Eddy's wife, opened the cash box and handed me my wages for the day. A single ten-dollar bill ($1.25/hr). I was thrilled. I'm pretty sure I spent some of it right away on treats to enjoy with my family watching TV that evening. To give you a comparison, one 16 oz. bag of potato chips at that time cost around 89 cents.

 Three. What's your biggest pet peeve? Without going into a tirade, it's people who don't obey the rules of the road and who show no courtesy in letting others merge into line. Makes me owl-y.

 4. What was your worst date? I never had a 'worst' date. Some were duds but never awful. To answer the question, perhaps it was with the fellow who invited me to go for dinner (it was nice) and then took me to the Canadian Finals Rodeo. He seemed a lovely fellow and shared the same name as my dad. But going to an event where people wore cowboy boots (eww), rode wild bulls, and roped poor calves to the ground... well, I knew at the end of that evening, I didn't want to pursue this any further and told him so. In truth, my dream date was to be invited to a nice dinner and a movie or concert, something I considered more 'cultured'. As it turns out, twenty years later I married a man who enjoys concerts as much as I do. Neither of us have ever been super sports enthusiasts, although we'll cheer for the home town for sure. I always hoped that the other fellow found his soulmate who loved what he loved. 

 Five. What is your favourite movie, and why? This is a hard choice - I have so many forever favourites. But, inching to the top for today's discussion, I choose Chariots of Fire, a British historical drama filmWhen it first came out in the theatres in 1981, my friend and I went to see it about five times. We couldn't get enough of the movie (both loving the movie itself and both being crazy for all things British). I haven't seen it in recent years, but I still remember some scenes vividly; some lines are forever etched on my mind. (Oh oh, oh...we must interrupt, because can you believe it, as I'm typing the movie title above, the theme music for the movie started playing on Classic FM radio. Synchronicity at play!)

So, why is this a favourite?
1. From the first moment, I loved the theme music by Vangelis. It gives me goosebumps to this day. (You can listen to the composer play HERE.)

2. Chariots of Fire is a period film giving viewers a glimpse of life in Great Britain in the 1920s, post WW I. I loved the feel of this movie, set in a place I hoped to visit one day.

3. I've enjoyed watching the Olympics, so this movie was up my alley. It's based on the true story of two British athletes who ran for England in Paris during the 1924 Olympics. They were both strong characters—I loved their depth as well as the splendid acting by the key actors. I also loved the character, Sybil Gordon, played by actress Alice Krige. She had some fine lines that I loved; her costumes were gorgeous. Though Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams ran for different reasons, they both had drive and determination to spur them on. "Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of God, and Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice."  
4. In one scene Eric Liddell speaks to his sister, Jenny, who is fretting because she thinks Eric is spending too much time training and is ignoring his calling from God. He replies, "Jenny, Jenny, I believe God made me for a purpose, for China. He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure."
The words burst on my heart like a shooting star as I sat in that dark movie theatre. I determined to go back to see this movie again just for that line. I think it was my first real glimpse into recognizing that God takes pleasure in us when we're pursuing what we're good at - making use of the gift he's given to us. I'd picked up that sacrificing my life (doing what I might not want or like) for him was what pleased him. It broadened my understanding. Years later, I would take those words for myself when I first began to write. I'd say, I believe God made me for a purpose. He gave me this writing ability. And when I write I feel his pleasure. And I do feel his pleasure. Right here when I write on this blog for you. (That one-minute scene with Eric and Jenny is HERE.)

5. After the film came out (receiving numerous awards), the producers released a commentary on the movie. So many talented, skilled people came together to make this film—people who really cared about creative inspiration, getting the right story, doing their best work, working as a team, and not worrying about whether it would become a blockbuster. They poured their hearts and souls into creating something beautiful and meaningful.
And that's why this movie stars as 'best loved' in my heart.

I'd be most interested to hear how you'd answer these questions.
Care to share in the comments? Or write your own post?

Wishing you a beautiful day,
Photo credit:
Top Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay



  1. Oh Brenda, this was SO enjoyable! thank-you for sharing. You make me nostalgic on this long-weekend Friday where a soft rain has begun to fall, chasing me from garden's first planting pleasure, to indoor delights! I also LOVE the movie Chariots of Fire. I was so impacted by his character and dedication to God, his willingness to sacrifice what was very dear to him, to honour Him!! The first time I heard the line that you mention; And when I run, I feel His pleasure." '...' I think my heart stopped and I know I shed tears of joy!! Like you, I feel God's pleasure when I write and the perspective from that line freed me from from fear and guilt. (resulting in, when I feel His pleasure I write for His glory<3) I also listen to Classical FM and I LOVE, love, love the theme music by Vangelis.
    Happy Long Weekend!

    1. I found my responses to these questions a little nostalgic myself. I'm glad we share our love of Chariots of Fire. I loved Eric Liddell too. That beautiful line from the movie - I have heard from all sorts of places that it touched the hearts of so many people back then. A God moment for many us. Fun that you also listen to Classic FM! Thanks so much for sharing, Janet. Heart hugs, Bren xo

  2. Brenda, Chariots of Fire was such a favourite of my husband's, and mine too. I can hear that wonderful music in my head as I write this! How few films there are that actually celebrate a person's faith nowadays. Classic FM is the only station that we ever listened to!

    1. I love that even though we live in different countries and time zones, not to mention across a big pond, we can now listen to and enjoy the same radio station because of global live-streaming. I'm glad to learn both you and your husband loved that movie with its celebration of faith and hope. Wishing you a beautiful weekend, Barbara. xo

  3. My first job ever was working at the public library as a page who shelved books. All I can remember from my first day is meeting another page (2 years my junior) who told me she was in "mourning" because she broke up with another page who also worked at the library. I think that's why scheduled us to work the same shifts together to avoid the drama. LOL.

    1. Margie, I would have loved a job like that - working in the library with all those books. Our love stories are so dramatic when we're that age. I wonder how long that page remained in 'mourning'. Haha.

    2. I loved working at the library...if I had to do my studies again, I would have gotten a library science again so could work as a librarian.

      The mourning perid lasted for a few weeks and then she moved on to someone else.

    3. *library science degree so I could work as a librarian.

  4. Hi Brenda...Loved your post, including the two videos. Thanks! To answer a couple of the questions, my first job, after babysitting, was working in an ice cream shop. Everyone said I'd grow to dislike ice cream after working around it all the time. That never happened. Here it is, many decades later, and I still love ice cream!
    One of my main pet peeves is seeing people litter. When a car window opens and empty cups and food boxes get thrown to the side of the road, it makes me mad. I want to scoop them all up and throw them back into the car.
    I think my favorite movie, of all time, is Dr. Zhivago. When Omar Sharif looked at a person, I would think those dark, intense eyes would bore right into the soul. And oh, how he truly did love two women! Lara, with her kissable lips, understandably must have made him crazy with love. Ahhhhhh, the scenic photography is still extremely memorable, even after all these years. Yes, Dr. Zhivago is a movie that will be remembered forever! Hope your week is wonderful. Susan

    1. Susan, so lovely to hear your own stories. I can't imagine ever getting tired of ice cream either. Littering is high up on that pet peeve list for me too. Have the same desire to stuff it all back in their own car. :). I also liked Dr. Zhivago, and I know what you mean about Omar Sharif looking at someone with those dark intense eyes. He was quite alluring back in the day. Thanks, Susan!

  5. Brenda such great questions to ponder. My first real job was waitressing at a local resort...don't remember actually my first day but do remember my grandma's great advice. The first day will be hard but stick it out for a week and it will get better. She was so wise. Worked 2 1/2 years there before I went onto a secretarial job. Had the sheet music to Vangelis and from time to time played it for a prelude at my home church. It is certainly a beautiful piece. My all time favorite movie is "Places in the Heart" with Sally Field. I like to watch it at least once every year. Thank you for allowing me to answer your questions. Hugs!

    1. What great advice from your grandma. And I think I might still have the sheet music for Chariots of Fire. You know what, I don't think I ever saw that movie with Sally Field, I don't remember it. I might have to search it out knowing it's your all time favourite. Thanks, Debbie, for a peek into your own world answering those questions.

  6. This was such a delightful post, Brenda! I am happy that I dug down in my blog roll and didn't miss this one. I am grieving the loss of the coin with you as I am imagining it as it slips from your grip. I am feeling your tired feet and the elation of your first pay day. I am also scowling in disapproval of the litterbugs. I am somewhat amused at your rodeo date, and glad that you held out for your concert-loving hubby. And I love Chariots of Fire . . . the inspiring story, the stirring music, and the wonderful line that you quoted!

    1. Aww, loved your empathetic comments, Cheryl, thanks so much!

  7. Your blog is always such a place of joy and beauty to me! Peace too. I liken visits here to watching a Bob Ross painting show. I come away, thankful for the serenity and loveliness that has touched my heart!
    My pet peeve is people who don't put shopping carts in the cart return---even when the return is a less than a dozen feet away. I go grocery shopping with my 2 year old granddaughter, and after putting groceries in the car, I put the cart away, get her out of the seat, and the 2 of us walk back to the car together. If I can put a cart away---even with a toddler--- I think there is virtually zero excuse for just leaving the cart in the parking lot.
    My first job was as a waitress at a local diner-type restaurant. We had an elderly man who was a regular, and I met him on my very first day there. He always came in with a pad of paper, a clock, and a bunch of pens. I don't know what he was writing, but as long as we kept his water glass full he was happy.
    I think my favorite movie is the 1978 version of Les Miserables. The scene when Valjean falls to his knees to the monsignor takes my breath away. No other version of that film shows Valjean repenting of his sins so powerfully.

    1. Patti, Thank you for your lovely note. I appreciate your kind words - I smile to read that visits here are like watching a Bob Ross painting show. It was great to hear your own stories. Not returning shopping carts to their spots, that is a pet peeve on my list too. I don't think I ever saw that version of Les Misérables - I love movies where certain scenes or lines take away our breath for their beauty or poignancy.

  8. Chariots of Fire! It's been years since I've watched it, but I agree, it is a great movie about a great story. You made me look and I'm thrilled to say we have this in our collection of DVD's. I'm going to watch it again now! Thank you for the inspiration. This whole post was a great idea. I enjoyed your rememberings. :) I agree with Patti above. Your posts are always inspiring. You have a real gift, Brenda.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo